Ken Halverson from Larken Farms Orchard brought a few boxes of the season's first peaches to the White Rock Local Market over the weekend. They were small, tart and firm, but they were peaches. And they're only going to get better as the summer progresses.
Halverson says the spring weather has been tough on his peach crop. Unseasonably warm temperatures caused early bud growth, but then a few late frosts decimated many of the young tender blossoms that were destined to become fruit.
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Strawberries have been scarce this season as well. Halverson said a neighboring farmer lost his entire crop this year to disease.
Still, there are signs of the coming summer. The Swiss chard that's covered table after table at the markets this spring is either gone or starting to look sad and wilted. And the tiny radishes and other root vegetables that first appeared a few weeks ago have swollen into massive versions of their preseason selves. (Kohlrabi the size of softballs were on sale from Good Earth Organic.)
The peaches that weren't damaged by the frost will continue to improve. If you see a big, juicy specimen for sale, jump on it fast. Some estimates claim up to three-fourths of this year's peach crop was lost to the unusual spring weather.